Bloodshot Salvation #7: Graphic Novel Sans the Graphics

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Bloodshot is blinded. The nanites are taking a long time to restore his vision. All he knows is that he is holding his daughter, and his dog, Hound, is nearby. If he is to survive and protect his daughter, he must advance and avoid danger with Hound leading the way.

Bloodshot Salvation #7 cover by Jeff Lemire
Bloodshot Salvation #7 cover by Jeff Lemire

I'm going to cut to the chase with this book. There is one page of art. The rest are black pages with caption and inexplicable paneling. That's right. The majority of this 20-page comic book is without the visual representation what helps separate the medium from that of the traditional novel.

That's a deal-breaker for me, sorry. I'm the guy who got mad at Wicked + Divine: 1932 for shoving a novella in between the cracks of a comic book. At least it had more than one page of art.

And I get what Bloodshot Salvation was going for here. It's using the terrified interior monologue of its protagonist to partially flesh out the environment while leaving the reader in the same literal dark in an attempt to convey that same fear and tension. I'm not against people playing with the medium, and I'll even grant that the playing with the paneling (yes, it still has panels without art) is a little creative.

However, there has to be a point somewhere down the line where someone says, "Are we just asking $3.99 for a book with 19 black pages." The answer is, "Yes," and "Stop."

It also results in a scenario where "show, don't tell" is forced to be broken because the comic can only tell us what is around the protagonist because the means through which we are shown such things are removed.

I'm not calling anyone in particular out here, but it does baffle me how many 10/10's there are for this book. Really? This is a comic with one image at the end, and it not only gets a passing grade but also perfect one?

Anyway, give this comic a hard pass and come back next issue. The irony is that there is no story progression due to this contrivance. Bloodshot Salvation is generally a good book. This issue faltered hard. It's not worth your four-dollars.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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